Sep 092014
 
Rux_Martin

Rux Martin in her kitchen with some of the books she’s edited. (Photo by Barry Estabrook.)

I met cookbook editor Rux Martin years ago, before she got an imprint in her own name. Now she is Editorial Director of Rux Martin Books at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

She specializes in cookbooks, narrative nonfiction on food, and diet books. She has worked with Dorie Greenspan, Mollie Katzen, Jacques Pépin, and Ruth Reichl, to name just a few, and has edited New York Times bestsellers including The Gourmet Cookbook; Hello, Cupcake!; Continue reading »

Sep 022014
 
Proposal-Stack

Looks boring, right? But this is what you might see on the desk of an agent or book editor: a stack of book proposals.

Most people don’t think much about the appearance of a book proposal. They think that what’s important is the content.

Well yes, but believe it or not, agents and editors want your non-fiction book proposal to look a certain way. If you present something else, you run the risk of appearing unprofessional. Folders, binders, ribbons, and Continue reading »

Aug 272014
 

When I wrote my recent post about four irresistible summer reads, I had a nagging feeling that I left off one I really wanted to tell you about. I didn’t realize it until after I pressed “publish,” of course.

I figured you always want to know about great food-focused books to read, right? And now I have two  for you, because many people left comments about their favorite reads on the last post, and I am starting to read those books too:

A-Fork-in -the-Road1. The book I forgot to list was A Fork in the Road: Tales of Food, Pleasure & Discovery on the Road, a first-rate book of essays edited by James Oseland, who just left Saveur magazine as editor-in-chief.

“Every traveler has two or three or even a hundred of them: moments on a journey when you taste something and you’re forever changed,” writes Oseland in the book’s introduction.”It might be a fancy or dazzling dish served by a tuxedoed waiter, or it might simply be an unexpected flavor or unfamiliar ingredient, offered by strangers and encountered by happenstance. At their most intense, these tastes of the new reveal Continue reading »

Aug 192014
 

Like the song from my teenage years says, “See you in September,” woo woo woo, when the summer’s through

And why are those guys singing in suits on the beach? 

Now, where was I? Oh yes. I’ll be traveling next month to two conferences, and then a third in October, talking about book proposals, career reinvention, and making your food writing sharper. Here’s what’s coming up:

Association-of-Food-JournalistsSeptember 8-11, 2014
Panelist and Workshop Leader
Association of Food Journalists Annual Conference
The Peabody Hotel
Memphis, TN

For the first time, I’m attending the Association of Food Journalists (AFJ) annual conference, where I will appear on a panel September 11 called Continue reading »

Aug 122014
 
pressure_cook_grains_faster_

Here’s the top of one of Laura’s pressure cooker infographics. She’s made three so far. Click on the image to see the entire infographic.

A guest post by Laura Pazzaglia

Infographics are taking the web by storm. They can be read and understood in a flash and shared, shared and shared. The best infographics tell a story (albeit very short) and convey useful information in a fun way.

I’d always wanted to make an infographic but didn’t think I had the tools or design skills to do so. Then I saw two posts from a marketing blog that promised Continue reading »

Aug 052014
 

It’s the dog days of summer, time for lounging by the pool with a novel, reading on a blanket near your cabin, or hanging in your hammock with a book.

The point is to be outside. My favorite place to read food writing is my sun deck’s lounge chair, perhaps followed by a nap. There’s something luxurious about dreaming on a summer day.

So what’s good to read right now? I’m not talking about summer cookbooks. There are lots of lists of those. Instead, here’s a mix of novels, memoir and non-fiction narratives, some old and new, that are worth your time when you’re prone in the sun or sitting in dappled shade:
Last-Chinese-Chef

1. The Last Chinese Chef, by Nicole Mones. It’s been out since 2007, but I resisted reading this book for years, even though friends kept telling me about it.

I finally read this novel and couldn’t put it down. It’s a love story about a food writer who goes to Beijing for a magazine assignment and meets a chef. I also learned about the Chinese culinary arts and ancient food culture and enjoyed every minute. The author was a freelancer for Gourmet magazine who travelled to China frequently, and she’s a powerful storyteller. Continue reading »

Jul 292014
 
Stressed.Writer

Do you keep up with your writing projects? Do you hand in your work on time? And how much drama do you like in your life?

Are you a drama queen? I was. I realized years ago that I liked excitement, and I created too much of it, especially when I procrastinated and then went crazy as deadlines loomed. Does this sound familiar?

You can learn good work habits, but doing so means giving up the adrenaline rush. Instead, you become a planner. It might sound boring, but these techniques have helped me avoid all-nighters.

1. Take Small Steps

Years ago I was driving to an appointment with my boss when I confessed, tearfully, that I felt overwhelmed by my workload. He gave me advice that was just right at the time: “Break it down into small steps. Otherwise you’re too overwhelmed to move forward. Just put one foot in front of the other and accomplish small things every day.”

It was good advice then, even though it sounded obvious. I needed a reminder. Continue reading »